We all have an identity, something that makes us who we are. I wonder if we were born with it or acquired it along our life’s path. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. I question, once we have created or developed that identity can we alter it?
I am a type A, busy, always on the go. Sleep, rest, and relaxation are not high on my list. I love doing, exploring, and being active. I don’t remember taking naps as a child for fear I would miss out on something. I like to be included, part of, listen to, offer advice and be of help. I am not passive in any way when it comes to my need to succeed.
As a young mother, I wanted to be everything for everyone. The Busymom identity was in full force. I worked full time. I kept an immaculate house and yard. I handled all our home’s financial responsibilities. My career had blossomed into something I would have never imagined, and I was thrilled. I promised myself I would be involved in my children’s life regardless of my hours at work. My solution was to be in charge of the activities and make the schedule around mine. I was not a stay-at-home mom, but I would not miss out on being involved like one. I would also volunteer at their school and use my talents to help raise money or be part of their activities. I was the queen of multi-tasking, only needing 4-5 hours of sleep a night, and the more I did, the happier I was.
Most importantly, I believed my children would appreciate it. I thought they would understand everything I did was to keep our family running and help them live a full life. I was proud of who I had become and was always looking to add more to my day. Even my email and license plate stated, “Busymom.” On the other hand, my family and friends said I needed to say no. I was overdoing it, stretched too thin, and stressed out. I didn’t see it that way.
It is hard to see yourself how others see you. It takes a lot of work to open your mind and be truly honest with yourself. I think a lot has to do with maturity. There is no need to get down on yourself; it is all part of life. Live and learn. As the years went on, the kids got older and went off to college, I had no choice but to re-evaluate what I was doing. But busy moms don’t die easily, so I filled my time with “ME” activities. Damn, that was innovative thinking! I knew I was a smart cookie, multi-tasking 102, here I come.
Work hard, play hard; this was my reward for raising my kids and doing a good job. I found it incredibly easy to find a new routine for myself to stay busy, busy, busy. This busyness kept me fueled for several more years until it didn’t. Things started to shift, I wasn’t sure what it was, but I felt different. I was reading more and evaluating my life. I was enjoying relaxing, which was new. I liked sitting in my home just existing, thinking. I started doing a lot of thinking. I started a gratitude journal. I started doing breathwork every morning and every night. My yoga practice had been a part of my life for over 20 years, but I wanted to take it to the next level. I realized my identity had changed, and I was trying to hold on to it for fear of losing a part of me.
I am not losing an identity, I am gaining insight and gratitude for the person I am today. I am so much more than a busy mom. I am a loving, compassionate, energetic woman who enjoys life. I am a daughter, mom, gram, friend, and yogi.
PS: I am surrendering my license plates after years of being known around my town as BZZYMoM. It feels a little strange, but I know it’s the right decision and a step in the right direction. Change is hard but always for the best.
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